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Nicolas Batum is angry at Portland, except he’s really not

Jul 4, 2012, 9:59 AM EDT

Nicolas Batum, Greg Stiemsma AP

What a long, strange trip it’s been this free agency than Nicolas Batum. And it’s not even close to over yet.

It’s an entertaining tale but we all know how the movie ends — he will be back in Portland as a key part of the rebuilding there.

Let me explain.

It all started last season, when Batum and his agent were trying to get the Trail Blazers to give up a large extension to Batum’s rookie deal, the team reportedly offered $26 million over four years, but that didn’t get it done. There was some bad blood built up and some sniping in the media. The bottom line out of all of it was Batum became a restricted free agent this summer (meaning Portland can match any offer Batum gets).

In the past few days, Batum and his agent met with Minnesota, and on Tuesday came this story from CSNNW.com.

Nic Batum does not want to return to the Portland Trail Blazers “under any circumstances for a variety of reasons,” according to an NBA source close to the situation.

To which Batum himself answered on twitter:

trust me I didn’t…

Okay… what is going on here? Jason Quick of the Oregonian summed it up well on twitter.

Sounds like agent for @nicolas88batum is at it again, trying to create contentious environment to provide some illusion of leverage. #rookie

Here’s where things actually stand (via Blazers Edge) — despite the talks Batum has no promise of an offer from Minnesota. At least not yet. Minnesota and Batum had discussions about a four-year, $45 million offer, but nothing is official. New Orleans and Cleveland also have expressed interest.

And pretty much whatever offer Batum gets, Portland will match. Which is why Batum himself is trying to distance himself from the comments of his agent/source, because he has to go back and play in the city.

Batum is too valuable — he is a great wing defender, gave the Blazers 30 minutes and 13 points a game last season and can drain the three. He is a quality swingman and a lot of GMs around the league covet him. They just know Portland is going to match pretty much any offer, so most GMs are focused on targets they can acquire.

It’s a long strange trip. That still ends in Portland next fall.

  1. underdog2358 - Jul 4, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    What a long,strange trip it’s been this free agency than Nicolas Batum.

    ??

    Yes I know what you mean, but when I have to decipher each post you write time after time… it’s more than rather bothersome. I’ve never pretended to be the guy in suspect zero, so stop being suspect zero.

  2. monkeyhateclean - Jul 4, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Q: Why is Minny dropping 4/45 on a guy who is almost interchangeable with Chase Budinger, who they signed for less than 10% of that salary? A: To screw over the Blazers.

    • khadeemw - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:19 PM

      you are completely lost in the sauce….hes a better shooter, slasher, and a 10 times better defender than budinger….watch your film buddy

      • monkeyhateclean - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:56 PM

        Actually, the stats suggest Batum is a slightly better defender, and slightly worse from 3-pt land, while about equal from the field per 39 minutes. Budinger appears to be at least as adept on fast breaks as Batum.

  3. genericcommenter - Jul 4, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Chase Budinger is a coveted wing defender?

    • monkeyhateclean - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      Nic Batum is ~48% from corner threes? http://cdn1.sbnation.com/imported_assets/1108222/Chase-shooting-chart.jpeg

  4. bparmalee - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Batum is one of the few guys that’s worth whatever he gets paid. He is 23.. puts up almost 14 ppg and 5 rpg…shoots 39% from three. On top of that he plays great defense. I hope the Blazers don’t mess it up…. right now Batum and Aldrige are all they have going for them.

    • monkeyhateclean - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:15 PM

      Agreed, Batum is so clutch and plays such tenacious D that his team won 28 games last season.

      • bparmalee - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:42 PM

        The Blazers had too many mismatched parts (Crawford at sg and pg sometimes for exp). Batum isn’t the reason they are struggling. The lack of decent pg play killed them. Someone has to get these guys into an offense and get Aldridge the ball where he can do something it. It’s sad to see how much this team misses Andre Miller…..they need to find a pg soon.

  5. brianbosworthisstonecold - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    If Batum leaves, he will most likely win a championship with a different team. It seems that happens a lot with ex-blazers.

  6. rickyspanish - Jul 4, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Helin Headlines 101:
    Blah Blah Blah… Lame Snarky Comment. Mix that together with a smorgasbord of typos and grammar errors, NBC will employ you.

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